Stuttgart. The world’s top tennis players are ready for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska won the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, the dress rehearsal for the world’s best in the run-up to the long standing tournament in Stuttgart, with a 7-5, 6-4 victory in the final against the Russian Maria Sharapova.
She duly celebrated the biggest success of her career. Together with the Miami finalists, 19 of the world’s Top 20 will be lining up in the Porsche Arenafor the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix from 21 to 29 April. It is a new record.
The million dollar tournament in Miami was also an important stopover en route to Stuttgart for the Porsche Team Germany members.
The player to progress the furthest was Sabine Lisicki, who, despite putting on a good performance against the world No. 8 Na Li from China, only narrowly missed out on a quarterfinal place.
“I played well and have moved another step forwards. It gives me extra confidence,” said the German. In Stuttgart last year, she won the doubles playing alongside the Australian Samantha Stosur and reached the quarterfinals of the singles.
This time around? “I’ll try to be more consistent in my play and win the important points. Then everything’s possible.”
And Angelique Kerber, who this year won her first ever WTA title in Paris and stood in the semifinals of the Indian Wells tournament, is also looking forward to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. “It’ll be one of the highlights of my year,” said the 24-year-old.
She’s certain the early loss in Miami, where she was defeated in her opening match by the strong Chinese Jie Zheng, won’t set her back:
“There’s bound to be days when things don’t go well but I’ve learnt to deal with them. I look forwards.”
For Barbara Rittner, the Porsche Team Germany captain, the tournament in Miami was highly positive. She was especially pleased with the display of Mona Barthel, who swept aside Jelena Jankovic, the former world No. 1.
And naturally the news that there is nothing standing in the way of the long-injured Andrea Petkovic making a return in Stuttgart. With a view to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the Fed Cup play-off against Australia, which will be played in the Porsche Arena on 21 and 22 April, she is also very confident:
“The girls are right on track, I’ve got no worries.”